RED EYE “Hideout celebrates Sweet 15”

By Kyle Kramer, for RedEye

11:04 a.m. CDT, September 23, 2011

When Tim and Katie Tuten founded The Hideout in 1986, it was a bar where steelworkers from nearby factories would come for lunch or after work, as they had since it opened in 1933. Tim and Katie became regulars, and, along with Tim’s childhood friends Mike and Jim Hinchsliff, they bought the bar in 1996 after the owner, Phil Favia, passed away. 

The new owners changed little, other than extending the hours and bringing in bands to play at night. But the old regulars slowly left as the steel factories moved to the suburbs. After 15 years, The Hideout has become a place for new musicians and veteran performers alike to play and experiment.

“I just thought this is, like, the perfect club. It’s punk rock, but it looks like a country place,” Tim said. “And it’s all surrounded by factories and everything. I just thought, ‘That’s a place where we could blast rock music, and no one’s going to do anything about it.’ And no one ever has.”

Tim Tuten shared some of his favorite memories from The Hideout’s storied history.

Honey Boy Edwards plays The Hideout

Blues singer Honey Boy Edwards, who passed away this year at age 96, played the first of many shows at The Hideout in 1997: “So many people came that we decided to do it in the back room. So we had to move all this junk that was back there, like construction materials and stuff like that,” Tim said. “We didn’t even have a stage … and he ended up being the oldest, the last of the living Delta Bluesmen. That, to me, was our first show that I was like, ‘Wow, we have a really important performer here.'”

The White Stripes’ first headlining show in Chicago

The band played an opening gig at Metro and then headed to The Hideout for a late show. Tim helped Jack White get ready. “Right before the performance he threw up out in the alley. I was like ‘Are you drunk, man?’ and he was like, ‘No, I have a really bad flu.’ And he was super serious. But he set up the whole stage himself, got it all ready, all the lights turned on and everything. And then he walks through the crowd, he goes upstairs, he puts on his red and white clothes and then him and Meg come down and they do the show.”

Billy Corgan creates his short-lived Zwan side project

“He was in the studio for like 10 weeks, and nine of those weeks, every Monday, he came to The Hideout,” Tim said. “All week long, they were recording in the studio, and then they’d try different versions [of the songs] at our bar, and that was really, really cool to see that happen.”

Alex White’s After-School Specials

Chicago rocker Alex White (now of White Mystery) started playing shows at The Hideout in high school: “We told her, you know, you’ve got to have parents,” Tim said. “Basically, just like on a high school field trip, there has to be one adult for every 10 kids.”

The Mekons to The Mutiny

The band’s sold-out 30th anniversary show at The Hideout ended with the entire audience carrying the band’s equipment to North Avenue and taking the bus to The Mutiny, on Western, for a second show. “There were so many people it took two buses. And we kind of planned it out, so I had hundreds of dollars [in] one dollar bills,” Tim said. “It’s like a hundred people going to the Mutiny at the same time. And we all carry the band’s equipment in.”

Kyle Kramer is a RedEye special contributor.

Hideout Block Party

The Hideout 1354 W. Wabansia

When: Noon-10 p.m. Saturday

Cost: $25-$35


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